Formatting anything to do with Scripture references in the correct way is important when you’re writing a manuscript.
Let’s look at how to handle formatting the Bible translation of your Scripture references.
For your manuscript, choose a translation of the Bible that you’ll use the most frequently, your primary or main version.
The first time you use that translation, include the translation abbreviated in the parenthetic documentation, like this:
“Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God” (Colossians 3:1 NIV).
Then the next time you use this translation, your main translation, you do not have to include the translation in your parenthetic documentation. It will be understood that you’re using your main translation.
So your next reference using the NIV will look like this:
“Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer” (Romans 12:12).
Another important step is to create a copyright page that states the main translation you’re using throughout your manuscript.
On your copyright page, you will state the copyright of the main translation of the Bible that you use throughout your manuscript, with the statement “Unless otherwise noted” at the beginning.
Here’s the copyright statement for NIV as the main translation:
Unless otherwise noted, Scripture quotations taken from The Holy Bible, New International Version®. NIV®. Copyright © 1973 1978 1984 2011 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved.
I receive many questions about formatting Scripture. While I can’t answer these question individually, I’ve provided guidelines and answered all sorts of questions in my new book, How to Use Scripture in Your Writing: A Quick Guide to Documenting and Writing with Scripture.
You also might want to find out more about writing a devotion (we’ll be having a devotion writing contest later this year!). You can check out my book, How to Write a Devotion: Workbook with Steps to Write a Devotion or Devotional Blog Post.